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Magpie swoops in to claw first place

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The beloved magpie has ruffled the feathers of kookaburras by claiming top position as Australia’s favourite animal sound.

The magpie’s warbling has won over the nation, taking out number one in ABC’s search for Australia’s favourite animal sound.

The call of the magpie was a clear winner, attracting over a staggering 36 per cent of the votes in the final round with kookaburra’s ‘laugh’ in second place, followed by the melodic and maniacal call of the butcher bird, voted in third.

“The magpie’s warble is part of almost every soundscape in Australia,” Dr Dominique Potvin, a behavioural ecologist said.

“Its song has regional dialects, developed through learning from older generations so it’s an ancient song, but it keeps evolving.

“Magpies come together to sing these melodies in a duet or chorus by family groups, letting others know the territory they occupy,” Dr Potvin said.

“Like the magpie, kookaburras come together, all calling at once in what can become an overwhelming cacophony, just to establish and maintain the borders of their territory.”

The only two non-birds in top 10 were the banjo frog at 7th place and the cicada at 10th.

This article appeared in On Our Selection News, 24 August 2023.

On Our Selection News 24 August 2023

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